Autodesk Research develops Magic Finger, optical finger input for PC control


optical finger input 1
As long as humanity has existed, there has been one humble request gently wafting from our lips, one task we readily dole out to the rest of mankind. “Pull my finger.” These three words are as old as time itself and just as, um, even more pungent. Well, technology has finally taken the sting out of that task. Now pulling a finger could actually be useful, instead of just a thinly veiled excuse for a fart joke.

Autodesk Research, with some help from the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto, has developed a small micro camera and optical flow sensor that attaches to your finger. It’s called The Magic Finger. The result? The device  can distinguish between surfaces like a desk, a piece of paper or even skin. It can even recognize 2D data matrix codes and also features a pinch function that can be programmed to trigger computer commands. As if all of this wasn’t enough to make your finger spin, it can also communicate wirelessly with similar units.

The Magic Finger can accurately sense 22 textures with an accuracy of 98.9 percent, so it makes perfect sense to purpose this device as a multimedia controller. That is exactly what will happen. Unfortunately, for now, it’s just a concept design and not available for purchase. We’ll let you know when we know more about when you nestle your pointer finger into one of these bad boys. In the meantime, watch a video of it in action below.